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The basics
France: Student Accommodation

The best French cities to study in

Here's everything you need to know about the top six French cities to study in.

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Deciding on which country to pursue your study abroad education is tough enough as it is. Narrowing it down to which city once you have selected a country is another hurdle. Don’t worry, though. You can pick which city would be best suited to your needs, the same way you chose your desired study abroad country: by using our advice! On that note, here’s our list of the best cities in France to study in.



It’s hard not to think of the glitz and glamour of Paris whenever France is mentioned. It’s not just culture and fashion that make the city so appealing either. In fact, the country’s capital is home to many high-ranking universities. Ecole Normale Superieure (ENS Paris) was ranked 33rd globally according to the QS University rankings, Ecole Polytechnique (ParisTech) is 53rd and focuses on science and business. The Universite Pierre et Marie Curie (UPMC) is 141st and is one of the largest teaching institutes in Europe, with over 125 laboratories. Universite Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) offers arts, humanities and language subjects to students.



Situated on the French Riveira, Nice has a strong transport system and great culture. The city boasts a variety of prestigious schools such as the Ecole Superieure de Realisation Audiovisuelle (ESRA), a well-established French film school, with 6000 alumni working in the cinema and television industries. Other universities include the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Sustainable Design School, IDRAC Business School and AMOS - The International Sport Business School.



Located in northern France, Lille is the country’s fourth biggest city. Its unique history and dual cultural influences - Spanish and French - can be seen in its distinct architecture. Coming in third after Paris and Lyon with more than 100,000 students (most of them international), Lille is home to many prestigious institutes. These include PolyTech Lille, Universite Catholique de Lille, Institut d’Etudes Politiques, ISA Lille, University of Lille and Telecom Lille (engineering).



Just two hours away from Paris, Lyon is the third largest city in the country. It is also the second most popular city among international students. Located in south eastern France, it is filled with top schools not just in the country, but within Europe. Institutions include University of Lyon, Lumiere University, Jean Moulin Univertsity, Ecole Universitaire de Management, Ecole Normale Superieure de Lyon (specialising in sciences and humanities), and Ecole centrale de Lyon (engineering). Are you a foodie? Look no further. Packed with gastronomic delights, Lyon gives you all the perks of a cosmopolitan city with a lower cost of living. Want to explore the rest of Europe? Lyon’s proximity to Switzerland and Italy means that these two countries are just a train ride away! You can also visit Paris on weekends. 




Not a big fan of winter? Then head to sunny Marseille, the country’s second largest city. The city is also popular with the Hollywood industry, with films such as Love Actually, The Bourne Identity, Taxi and The French Connection being filmed here. One of the oldest cities in Europe, Marseille has a history spanning 1500 years!


Higher education institutions such as the Aix-Marseille University, University of Provence, Ecole central de Marseille and Ecole Superieure d’Art et de Design Marseille Mediterranee, all perform well in global rankings.



In the heart of the wine-growing region, Bordeaux is a port city located on the Garonne River in southwestern France. This picturesque city is well-connected, and filled with buildings that date back to Roman times. It is also well-known in Europe as a player in the technology scene. Universities include The University of Bordeaux, INSEEC Bordeaux, EPITECH (the largest French institution specialising in Information Technology) and Ecole de Conde (design school).


Made your decision? Get looking at French universities now!